The recent thread asking about stereo receivers has prompted me to try the message board to ask about micro-waves. Mine is over 13 years old and its user interface is about as simple and useful as possible. Although you can set time and level by pushing buttons, the basic operations that I use 95% of the time is to push any one of the buttons 1 to 5 and get that many minutes or an “add 30 seconds” button that will either run it 30 seconds or add that to the time while running. When the microwave conked out a year or so ago, I paid $80 to get it repaired because I simply could not find one with those simple controls. I have searched the web and, although it is hard to tell, it doesn’t appear that any manufacturer is making such controls any more. They have loads of “one touch” controls that make no sense (except for popcorn that comes in standard packages and sizes). I don’t, for example, cook anything in the microwave and my beverages take 2 minutes, not the 1.5 that the beverage button gives since my mugs are large.
I could go on, but I will stick to asking my question. My old one is making funny noises and I am afraid it is on its last legs.
When we bought our’s I made sure it had a dial. You just turn it to the number of minutes you want and press ON. It does have two settings: FULL and DEFROST, but that’s it. When I buy another I’ll get the same interface.
My microwave (sorry, don’t remember the brand, I bought it for it’s size) has a button marked “Minute Plus”. For each press, you get one minute cooking time. Multiple pushes for multiple minutes. It also has a “Sensor Reheat” button which is great for heating soup. Press it one time, and it cooks until the food within is hot. It also works well for reheating leftovers.
Frankly, I gave up on trying to buy microwaves based on their controls. Mostly I look for the largest one that fits the space I have with a decent amount of power. After that, I learn how its controls work and deal with it.
Failing my approach, look for an oven with programmable settings. I’ve had a few of these (one was a GE, the other, I don’t remember) where you can set your own program times. On the GE, you pressed “Program Cook” and then the corresponding button, i.e., 1 for 1 minute, 2 for 2 minutes, etc…
Our GE microwave has similar controls - push any number from 1-6 and you get that many minutes and there’s a 30-second button also. It’s about 4 years old so I imagine they’re still made that way.
The simple controls are available in the el cheapo models.